Squad usage: Championship, 2017/18
I realised that I’d missed one graphical template from the traditional post-season burst. This one looks at how each club has used their squad, and in addition to individual graphics for every team I’ve also created a summary of the division as a whole.
It’s sorted by how many different players each club has used (with the number who started a match used as a tie-breaker), but also shows the average number of changes to their starting XI, the number of minutes played by their most-used combination of players so far and how many unchanged line-ups they’ve named. This all applies to league matches only.
The 37 players deployed by relegated Sunderland was the most of any Championship side – it’s often the case that teams in trouble roll the dice most of all. Meanwhile Millwall only used 24 players all season, starting just 20, and on 16 occasions they named an unchanged starting 11 from their previous league match. Derby ran them close with 14 unchanged line-ups, but no combination of players comes remotely close to the 867 minutes that the Lions’ most-used group of 11 players spent on the pitch together this season. Preston may have only used a modest number of players but they rarely kept the same combination – they only named one unchanged line-up all season and as a result their most-used 11 only played 133 minutes together.
What I’ve done for every club below is to plot out their league campaign minute-by-minute and then shade in a bar for each player showing when they were on the pitch. The players’ bars are then laid out next to each other, in descending order of how long each spent on the pitch this season (also shown as a percentage of the club’s total playing minutes), to allow for comparisons.
I’ve also factored in a calculation of what each club’s most-used combination of 11 players was and shaded the minutes that they were on the pitch together using a darker colour. At the top I’ve also included the total number of minutes that they featured alongside each other, which is often surprisingly low.
To make reading across the graphics easier, I’ve drawn vertical lines separating each match and each month, plus horizontal ones between each player’s row and beneath the 11 most-used players.